Pet Health Hospital

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Coprophagia is a common problem in dogs that causes them to ingest their own feces. Many people incorrectly assume that the reason their pet suffers from coprophagia is a nutritional or dietary deficiency. This assumption comes from a disease called Pica, which is a neurological condition resulting from an iron deficiency in underdeveloped countries.

However, a dog that suffers from coprophagia is the result of a behavioral problem. The behavioral problem may be the result of a large appetite, a taste preference for fecal material, or something that just turns into a habit. Coprophagia is a behavior that you want to discourage because of the unsanitary nature of the parasites and bacteria found in feces.

The easiest way to discourage the practice of coprophagia is to monitor your pet while outside and immediately pick up waste. There are also several food additives that treat the condition, which are often made of vegetable proteins and sodium glutamate and work in the digestive system to give the stools a bad taste. The goal of this treatment is to have the bitter taste of the treated feces discourage the dogs from eating their poop. Response is varied and even if successful the behavior may return and repeat therapy may be needed.